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Animals (Basel). 2015 Dec 1;5(4):1233-51. doi: 10.3390/ani5040409.

How Farm Animals React and Perceive Stressful Situations Such As Handling, Restraint, and Transport.

Author information

1
Department of Animal Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA. Cheryl.Miller@colostate.edu.
2
Department of Animal Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA. chelsey.shivley@colostate.edu.

Abstract

An animal that has been carefully acclimated to handling may willingly re-enter a restrainer. Another animal may have an intense agitated behavioral reaction or refuse to re-enter the handling facility. Physiological measures of stress such as cortisol may be very low in the animal that re-enters willingly and higher in animals that actively resist restraint. Carefully acclimating young animals to handling and restraint can help improve both productivity and welfare by reducing fear stress. Some of the topics covered in this review are: How an animal perceives handling and restraint, the detrimental effects of a sudden novel event, descriptions of temperament and aversion tests and the importance of good stockmanship.

KEYWORDS:

cattle; handling; pigs; restraint; sheep; welfare

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